Fun Times with the First Amendment

Baggy, sagging pants might not be protected by the constitution, while Klans robes and Nazi uniforms are. That’s at least what white, at least middle-class, not-young Danny Cevallos thinks in a piece for CNN. 

I get the “sagging pants don’t have a clear message” argument (however, I hope people wearing their pants low in actual solidarity with prison inmates can continue wearing them low then) but my main question is: Why does (can) the State govern regular clothes at all? How can this be, ACLU? Besides the fact that kids in the neighborhood usually don’t have the legal funds racist groups or conservatives have.

Janet Mock returned to Piers Morgan’s show to explain to him what was so offensive about the way his show framed the interview with her. Mr Morgan calls himself an ally to trans* people and their issues, but like many doesn’t really understand them. I don’t want to accuse Morgan and his production team of malice, but they do show an ignorant clinging to a false, rigid gender binary that many in society show.

I myself was fairly ignorant on this topic until a few years ago. I didn’t receive the education that broadened my view purely through academic gender studies (that did help) but through activists and writers like Janet Mock or through (as silly it might sound to people who still prioritize old-fashioned established media) the network of blogs, tumblrs I discovered following links on the Internet.

I hope the publicity surrounding Janet Mock, her book, and these interviews with Piers Morgan will be a starting point for more people to educate themselves on this topic and shake of their ignorance.


The interview was of course followed by a panel featuring Mr. Morgan and 3 cis-people, only one of whom – Marc Lamont Hill – understood even the basics. So the panel quickly turned problematic. Amy Holmes claimed that the problem Ms. Mock has is “semantic.” In Ben Fergueson the panel also had the ubiquitous shouty conservative, who framed Ms. Mock being transgender as mental illness and as a ploy to sell books, referencing the weird scientists and doctors that always seem to be there to support the claimed reality shouty conservative always shouts about.

What does it tell the parents of the next girl who dumps vodka into slushed ice and heads out to a high school party? There were many last weekend and there will be many this weekend, and no amount of warning them will entirely change that. If you didn’t drink to get drunk in high school, you had friends who did, and so did we all. That’s not an offense deserving of rape. That’s not behavior that causes rape. If this girl got staggering, vomiting drunk with a different group of people — say, with the boy I hope my son grows up to be — she would have found herself delivered to her parents’ door with a blanket over the vomit-stained shirt. “Mr. Doe, I’m sorry to wake you, but your daughter had quite a bit to drink and passed out at the party, and the folks she came with were not taking care of her, so we brought her home. We couldn’t find her phone …” Isn’t that what we expect of our young men? The reason that, instead of a ride home, she got sexually assaulted, filmed and mocked was because the people around her failed a basic test of moral fiber. The bystanders failed to intervene, and the peripheral participants failed to walk away, and Mays and Richmond failed even the baseline legal tests. They sexually penetrated a girl who was so inebriated that she didn’t understand or participate in what they were doing to her.

What you told that next girl and her parents is that even if what happened to their daughter is a crime, even if it is prosecuted and proved, you’re still on the side of the rapists.

Exit Polled Want to Exit Healthcare.

 I just don’t get why so many people want to abolish the Affordable Healthcare Act – Obamacare – according to exit polls just reported on CNN. I’ve tried, but I just don’t understand it. I think the reform of healthcare – especially getting rid of problems like the preexisting conditions opt-out for insurances – is one of the best and most important, literally lifesaving pieces of legislature introduced in the last, I don’t know, 40 years. And I think that it is a issue that should be approved on a bi-partisan level; it’s good for everybody and make perfect (economic, moral, social..) sense. It’s not socialism, the basic structure is still market-driven.

The possible repeal  one of the aspects that make this election so personal for me, even though I’m not American. I do plan to live/work in the States again at some point in the near future, and my mental health issues might be a preexisting condition and something I need (expensive) care for, even when I’m feeling good/have it under control.